by Ron Gregory
NASHVILLE, TN — Visitation and memorial services have been scheduled in Nashville, Tennessee for former Lincoln Countian and Charlestonian Bill Pauley. Pauley served in various elective and appointive offices during this long career in West Virginia politics, including being a Lincoln County Board of Education member and West Virginia National Republican committeeman.
Pauley was a close adviser to a number of well-known politicians, including the late West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood and former Charleston Mayor Kent Strange Hall. In fact, it was Pauley who managed Hall’s 1995 upset primary election win over incumbent Chuck Gardner. Hall went on to win the general election and served a term as chief executive.
Leaders throughout West Virginia expressed sadness at Pauley’s passing in a Nashville area hospital. Pauley and his wife, Susan, had “retired” to Nashville to be closer to their children.
Current State Republican Chairman Conrad Lucas, a fellow Lincoln Countian, said, “Bill Pauley was a legend in West Virginia politics and a Republican stalwart. He was the first call I made when I was testing the waters to run for state party chairman. Bill’s blessing meant the world. He mentored many politicians across West Virginia and will be greatly missed. West Virginia and the Republican Party are better off because of his lifetime of service. We will keep his family in our prayers.”
Current GOP National Committeeman Kris Warner echoed Lucas’ words, calling Pauley, “a good man. A real worker for his party, his church and what he believed in.”
Pauley had devoted much of his adult life to his Church of Christ faith, both in West Virginia and Tennessee.
One longtime Charleston political pundit remembered Pauley this week with a smile. “When he ran that Moe Hall campaign,” he said, “Billy made the right move every time. I remember he had humor, too. He’s the one that said he knew why Mayor Gardner named the park on the river ‘Magic Island.'” He went on, “He called it ‘Magic,’ Billy said, because that was where Chuck Gardner made a million dollars disappear.”
During his time as West Virginia National Committeeman, he served with State Senator Donna Boley, who was Committeewoman. Boley was touched by Pauley’s death. “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Bill Pauley,” she said in a statement. “He was a wonderful friend and a great Republican. He and I were National Committeewoman and National Committeeman from 1992 to 2004. We attended all the National conventions and Republican National Committee (RNC) meetings with our spouses, Susan and Jack. Our sympathy goes out to Susan and her wonderful children.”
Visitation for Bill Pauley is set from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, January 26; and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday. Services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, January 27. The wakes and services will all take place at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ, 5120 Franklin Pike in Nashville.